A place to share struggles and triumphs, a place to bless and serve - but never a place to murmur or complain. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Message from Connie Sokol

Hi Ladies,

I was reading one of those early reader books with my daughter on Seabiscuit, the miracle racehorse, and was reminded of the power of seeing the soul.

Short version, Seabiscuit came from great racehorses but he didn't look or act great himself; his legs were short, crooked, and he ran funny. He had never won a race. He made trouble, was overweight, and slept all morning (this may be hitting close to home...) But then Tom Smith came along, saw inside his soul, and got a buyer to bring him home. He made the stall roomier, brought in stray animals for friendship, and even slept in the barn with the horse. Seabiscuit responded to the love. In six years he won 33 races and more prize money than any other racehorse.

Sometimes what you and I, and children or neighbors or cranky co-workers, really need is a little Tom Smith. We need someone to see inside our soul and look beyond the outward behavior-to make a stall more roomy, bring in a trusted friend, or shower us with a little affection. I invite you this week to choose someone who may be troublesome in your life, and to see him or her as a Tom Smith would. And just maybe you will nurture and develop a legendary winner.

All my best,


Connie Sokol

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

They were at war. . .

they were confused and worried. This was their experience, and it is mine as well. I'm grateful to be able to be another witness of the Lord's goodness and watchful care. He has indeed blessed me with assurances, peace, faith and hope. I stand in wonder as I contemplate where I'd be without Him.

Alma 58:11

Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

For Gloria

Paul died on Sunday morning. 39 years old, severely autistic....but still such a shock. In the aftermath of the news I sit reflecting on life, the Plan of Salvation and motherhood. I write in honor of my mother-in-law.
I don't know how life with Paul really was. I have heard many stories, seen a few of them in action and have asked her many questions. Still, I have no idea of the struggles and blessings she has experienced through her time with Paul.
My own experiences as a mother leads me to know that she loved him dearly; more than herself. She looked at his newborn face and knew she would do whatever it took to protect him, teach him and travel with him through the storms and sunshine in life. She spent more time with him than anyone else did. She bathed him, not just for a few short years like the rest of us, but for over 30 years. Every day she woke thinking of his needs and went to bed checking on him. Everyday she prayed for guidance, ability and patience. Everyday she sought to understand and to help him understand. Everyday.
I think she might be feeling conflicting emotions right now. Joy that Paul is free from his body and able to do so much more. Sorrow that she no longer gets to feel him touch her hair. Guilt, though unjustified, about what else she could have done. Relief that he went first so she didn't have to worry about him if she had.
Amid all the emotions, I pray she is feeling true peace and comfort that comes from Jesus Christ.
Gloria, I honor and respect you for the many unnoticed acts of service you have rendered day after day, year after year with patience and love to Paul, and to all the rest of us. I know you won't see it as that.....you see it as "just" being a mother.
Love, Amiee

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Your Deeds Are Known

"As I look into your faces I can feel your goodness. I commend each of you for your day-to-day works of righteousness. Even though your works may be known to only a few, they are recorded in the Lamb’s book of life, 1 which one day will be opened to witness of your dedicated service, devotion, and deeds as “instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.” James E. Faust, “Instruments in the Hands of God,” Ensign, Nov 2005, 114

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Three Good Quotes

Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves.

Happiness is not so much in having as sharing. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Time-the ultimate gift

Reading the last conference Ensign (Nov. 07) has been a blessing in my life. I came across one very important paragraph from a talk by Elder Costa.
His statement was, "The fast-paced lifestyle of modern-day life and excessive amounts of work are curbing parents' attention from what is most important: to give time, to give of oneself to one's family."

From the beginning of my mothering experience, motherhood was fairly intuitive. The "nurturing gene" seemed to kick right in and the deep love I felt/feel for each of my children made sacrificing many things I was used to almost easy. I have sacrificed, labored, loved, soothed, kissed, sung and done all of those things, but when I read this quote I wondered if I have actually made the conscious choice to GIVE of myself. Sometimes when the sacrificing gets hard to endure I think, "did I really choose all this!". Of course, I say that in jest, but deep down I wonder if I haven't made the commitment that I need to make to truly GIVE of myself. That choice really could make all the difference. The hard things will still be there, day after day, but consciously choosing to give all that I have and all that I am to my family. That is a deeper commitment, a deeper sacrifice and a deeper potential for pure, Christ like love. It reminds me of the Lamanite king from the Book of Mormon who chose to give all his sins that he might know God. Would I give all I have, my whole self, to my family. I hope that I do, I hope that I will and I hope that I will always know why I chose to do it----"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

We Cannot Fail

Sometimes I get overwhelmed. Think of me, an ordinary, flawed person, trying to accomplish the mighty and sacred task of raising up righteous children in a failing world, with an enemy that never sleeps, who constantly tries to bind and enslave my precious ones. At times it seems like an insurmountable task.

It is…for someone who tries to accomplish it under their own power. But women who rely upon the Lord are not ordinary. I believe that when we put our trust in Him and do His work, the “least” of us will become the greatest of all, because we will rely upon the Lord to use us as an instrument, imperfect though we may be. It is then that the true miracle occurs, and the Lord shows forth his power, by making weak things become strong.

It is interesting to me to find out after all these years that life is not about accomplishing a checklist of things perfectly...it is about our partnership with the Lord in doing the list. How well we perform, I believe, depends upon our willingness to let go of our wills and just keep trying, doing our best and letting the Lord make up the difference when we fail. And when we do, we are no longer ordinary. The Lord will take the ugly little lump of clay that is our efforts and magnify it, until it becomes something "Glorious".

Perfection is not the key to this life, repentance is. I am taking great comfort in the fact that failure was part of the plan. We were expected to come to earth and fail on our own power. That is why a Savior was provided for us. All we have to do is reach up our hand and let the Savior become our partner in this great work (become yoked with him) and then our burdens will become light and we will be able to accomplish what we came to earth to do. You, as a mother, no matter how imperfect, are a daughter of God marching forth to help Him accomplish His great and glorious plan. When you keep trying, you cannot fail. Become partners with Him, and He will make you glorious.